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Roast chicken with tomatoes, roasted peppers, olives and capers

BT Toronto | posted Tuesday, May 31st, 2016


Cactus Club Cafe shares a recipe for roast chicken with tomatoes, roasted peppers, olives and capers. Make this recipe in three easy steps.

Makes: 4 servings


  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 4 large chicken legs thighs attached
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cups dark chicken stock
  • 2 Tbsp. drained capers
  • ¼ cup pitted and halved Kalamata olives
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup chopped herbs (equal amounts of parsley, chives and tarragon)
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 butter braised tomatoes, cut in half


  1. Preheat BBQ to 400 F.

  2. Place bell pepper on BBQ and roast on all sides until skin blisters and turns black.

  3. Place roasted bell pepper in mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap. This step will help to easily peel skin from the pepper.

  4. When cold, peel pepper, chop coarsely and set aside.

  5. Season each tomato with olive oil, salt and white pepper.

  6. Place a small cube of butter on each half and add some chopped thyme.

  7. Place on very low heat on BBQ and slowly cook for about 15-20 minutes.

  8. Remove from grill and reserve until it’s ready to plate.

  9. Rub chicken legs with olive oil and season generously with salt and white pepper.

  10. Place on grill on high heat, skin side down.

  11. Reduce heat to about 350 F and cook on same side for approximately 78 minutes.

  12. Flip chicken legs over and cook for another 78 minutes on that side. Make sure that BBQ lid is down at all times during this process.

  13. Check chicken for doneness by inserting paring knife close to the bone. You are looking for clear juices to run out. If BBQ has a warm holding rack transfer chicken onto it until ready to plate.

  14. To make the sauce, place stock, roasted bell peppers, capers, olives and garlic into a medium saucepot and heat on medium heat from BBQ side burner.

  15. Bring to a boil and cook for 3 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half.

  16. Stir in fresh herbs, tomatoes and extra virgin olive oil.

  17. Place grilled chicken legs onto platter and spoon sauce over them.

  18. Drizzle with fine extra virgin olive oil.

Courtesy Rob Feenie – Executive Chef, Cactus Club Cafe

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Creamy macaroni salad

Chatelaine | posted Tuesday, May 24th, 2016


What’s a picnic without a heaping helping of creamy macaroni salad? Our version comes together in a snap.

Prep: 15 minutes
Grilling time: 15 minutes

Makes: 4 servings


  • 2 cups elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1 celery stalk, very finely chopped
  • 6 sweet pickles, very finely chopped


  1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water until tender for 7 to 8 minutes.
  2. Drain pasta.
  3. Stir mayo with yogurt, Dijon, curry powder and salt in a large bowl.
  4. Stir in pasta, carrot, celery and pickles.
  5. Season with fresh pepper.
  6. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Courtesy Chatelaine 


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Smoked Louisiana chicken wings with cajun rub

BT Toronto | posted Tuesday, May 17th, 2016


A delicious chicken wing recipe for the summer, which uses a spicy rub to kick things up for your next barbecue.

Prep: 15 minutes
Grilling time: About 30 minutes

Makes: 6 servings



1 tablespoon packed brown sugar

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1½ teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon dried oregano

¾ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon dried thyme

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper


¼ cup ketchup

¼ cup Louisiana-style hot sauce

2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

2 teaspoons cider vinegar

1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

½ teaspoon Cajun spice blend (optional)

3 tablespoons unsalted butter


  1. Soak the wood chips in water for at least 30 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl combine the rub ingredients.
  3. Add the chicken wings and turn to coat. Allow the wings to stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
  4. Prepare the grill for direct and indirect cooking over medium heat (350° to 450°F).
  5. In a medium saucepan combine all the sauce ingredients, except the butter, and bring to a simmer over medium heat on the stove. Cook until slightly thickened, 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Remove from the heat, add the butter, and whisk until the butter is melted.
  7. Drain and add one handful of the wood chips to the charcoal or to the smoker box of a gas grill, following manufacturer’s instructions, and close the lid.
  8. When smoke appears, grill the wings over direct medium heat, with the lid closed, for 5 minutes, turning once.
  9. Move the wings over indirect medium heat and continue grilling, with the lid closed, for 10 minutes.
  10. Drain and add the remaining wood chips to the charcoal or smoker box.
  11. Brush the wings with some of the sauce, turn, and grill until crisp, deeply browned in spots, and tender, about 15 minutes more, brushing the wings one more time with the sauce.
  12. Remove the wings from the grill and serve warm with sour cream on the side, if desired.

Courtesy Michael P. Clive, Webers


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Hasselback potatoes with garlic butter and parmesan

BT Toronto | posted Tuesday, May 17th, 2016


These potatoes have been dazzling guests at barbecues for the past few years. Learn how to make them, so you can pair this fantastic side dish to any main course.

Prep: 45 minutes
Grilling time: 1 hour 5 minutes to 1 hour 10 minutes

Makes: 6 servings


  • 6 russet potatoes, each about 12 ounces, scrubbed and dried
  • 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 ounces parmigiano-reggiano cheese, finely grated
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh italian parsley leaves


  1. Prepare the grill for indirect cooking over medium-high heat (400° to 450°f).
  2. Cut off a very small piece (¼ inch or less) on the widest side of each potato, which will now be the bottom side.
  3. Then, using a very sharp knife, starting 1 inch from the end, cut slits crosswise into each potato, ⅛ to ¼ inch apart, stopping just before you cut through so that the slices stay connected at the bottom.
  4. In a small skillet over medium heat on the stove, melt the butter.
  5. Add the garlic and cook until lightly browned, 1½ to 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the salt and pepper.
  7. Fan out the layers of each potato enough that you can get some butter and seasonings inside the layers.
  8. Brush the potatoes, including the bottoms, with half of the butter mixture.
  9. Grill the potatoes over indirect medium-high heat, with the lid closed, for 30 minutes. Brush the potatoes with the remaining butter mixture, making sure some of the butter drips down inside the slices. Continue grilling, with the lid closed, until the potatoes are almost cooked through, 30 minutes more.
  10. Top the potatoes evenly with the cheese and cook until the cheese is melted and slightly browned and the potatoes are crisp on the outside and tender on the inside, 5 to 10 minutes more. Garnish with the parsley and serve hot.

Courtesy Michael P. Clive, Webers


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Cedar-planked salmon with pickled fennel salad and horseradish cream

BT Toronto | posted Tuesday, May 17th, 2016


This tasty dish can be made in under one hour, making it a perfect summer barbecue meal for your hungry guests.

Prep: 30 minutes
Grilling time: 15 to 20 minutes

Makes: 4 servings


Kosher salt

½ large fennel bulb, cored and cut into 1-inch strips

½ small head radicchio, cored and cut into 2-inch strips

2 tablespoons prepared horseradish

1½ teaspoons finely chopped fresh dill

½ cup crème fraîche or sour cream

Freshly ground black pepper

1 center-cut salmon fillet (with skin), about 2 pounds and 1 inch thick, pin bones removed

Extra-virgin olive oil

1 small bunch watercress, torn into small sprigs

Pickling Liquid

1 cup dry white wine or vermouth

¾ cup white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 teaspoons fennel seed

8 juniper berries

2 small garlic cloves, crushed


  1. Soak the cedar plank in water for at least 1 hour.
  2. In a small, nonreactive saucepan combine the pickling liquid ingredients, including 2½ tablespoons salt.
  3. Bring to a boil over medium heat on the stove, add the fennel strips, and simmer until tender but not mushy, 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fennel strips to paper towels to dry.
  5. Add the radicchio to the simmering pickling liquid and cook for 1½ minutes only, just until wilted. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the radicchio to paper towels to dry.
  6. Whisk the horseradish, dill, and crème fraîche, and season lightly with salt and generously with pepper.
  7. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat (350° to 450°F).
  8. Cut the salmon fillet into four equal portions, cutting down to, but not all the way through the skin.
  9.  Brush the salmon with oil and season evenly with salt and pepper.
  10. Drain the cedar plank.
  11. Place it over direct medium heat and close the lid. When the plank begins to smoke and char, turn it over. Place the salmon, skin side down, on the plank. Grill over direct medium heat, with the lid closed, until cooked to your desired doneness, 15 to 20 minutes for medium rare.
  12. Carefully transfer the fillet on the plank to a heatproof surface. Slide a spatula between the skin and flesh and transfer individual portions of the salmon to serving plates.
  13. In a bowl combine the pickled vegetables, watercress, and 1½ tablespoons oil and toss gently until evenly coated. Serve the salmon warm with the salad and horseradish cream.

Courtesy Michael P. Clive, Webers


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3 traditional Mexican recipes for Cinco de Mayo

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, May 5th, 2016

3 traditional Mexican recipes for Cinco de Mayo

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with these three traditional recipes for Mexican street food from executive chef Elia Herrera of Toronto’s El Caballito.

Mushrooms al Ajillo


100 g Oyster and Bottom Mushroom Mix

7 pc of sliced garlic

1 Guajillo pepper, sliced

1 large lime

1/3 cup olive oil

salt, to taste


1. Let the oil get hot in a pan

2. Add garlic and guajillo until is golden

3. Remove it from the oil

4. Add mushrooms until they get some color, add salt

5. Add the garlic and guajillo

6. Add lime juice

Ceviche Tradicional de Vera Cruz


320 g fresh cod

125g onion, peeled

160g sherry vinegar

8g serrano peppers

150ml lime juice

20g coriander

1 1/4 tsp salt


  1. Dice the cod, onion, Serrano peppers and the coriander into 0.5 cm cubes.
  2. Combine all the ingredients into a bowl and mix together.
  3. Allow to cure for 2 hours.
  4. Place in appropriate container and store in the fridge.



14 pc avocado

87g chopped jalapeno

1/3 bunch chopped cilantro

585g chopped tomato

276g chopped onion

300ml lime juice

30g salt


  1. In mixing bowl combine all the diced ingredients.
  2. Mix in the avocado flesh and combine in until mixed. Don’t over mix the avocado.
  3. Season to taste.
  4. Place in appropriate container and store in the fridge.

Recipes courtesy Elia Herrera, Executive Chef, El Caballito

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Portobello mushrooms 101

Chatelaine | posted Saturday, Jun 20th, 2015


Large portobello mushrooms are almost always on my weekly grocery list. A perfect stand-in for meat, they are really mature cremini mushrooms which can have caps from four to six inches wide. Their deep umami flavour (the fifth basic taste after salty, sweet, bitter and sour) is so robust that they don’t need as much salt. It’s a substantial vegetable – perfect for use in vegetarian dishes.

Select portobellos with firm, unblemished caps, then turn them over to check the gills (the dark brown feathery structure underneath). If they are dry, it means they’re fresh. If moist (or slimy) they’ve begun to spoil. Take them home and keep them in a paper bag before refrigerating. The bag will keep them dry up to 5 days.

Before cooking, cut off and discard the stem, which can be woody. Use a spoon to scrape off those gills because they can discolour other ingredients. Wipe the cap with a damp paper towel or just brush off any dirt. Cut in half, then thinly slice for stir–fries or keep whole if roasting or grilling.

A single portobello mushroom can contain more potassium than a banana, plus other nutrients such as vitamin C & D, iron and selenium. They are also low in fat, calories and carbs. They’re great stuffed or in fajitas and salads.

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The new classic burger

Chatelaine | posted Tuesday, Jun 9th, 2015



8 slices applewood-smoked bacon
1 egg
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp salt
500 g medium ground beef
4 sesame hamburger buns, cut in half horizontally
4 pieces smoked cheddar, thinly sliced
4 pieces aged cheddar, thinly sliced
1 beefsteak tomato, sliced
1 cup packed arugula
1/2 cup lemon-pepper aioli


  • Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high. Cook bacon until crispy, 2 to 3 min. Transfer to a paper-towellined plate. Set aside.
  • Preheat barbecue to medium. Whisk egg with Dijon, Worcestershire and salt in a large bowl. Season with fresh pepper. Add beef. Gently mix together. Shape into 4 burgers, each about 1/2 in. thick. Press a shallow depression in centre of each to help keep their shape while cooking.
  • Oil grill and barbecue burgers, lid closed, 5 to 7 min. Flip burgers, then lay smoked-cheddar slices on burgers. Continue grilling, lid closed, until burgers are cooked and cheese is melted, 6 more min.
  • Place bottom buns, cut-side up, on grill. Lay aged-cheddar slices on buns. Grill, lid closed, until cheese is melted, 2 to 3 min. Stack beef patty, tomato slice, bacon, arugula and Lemon-Pepper Aioli between buns.


Calories 898
Protein 50 g
Carbohydrates 31 g
Fat 63 g
Fibre 2 g
Sodium 1457 mg
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